These 3 Pests Are Devouring You in the Northwest
Call them what you want. Bugs, insects, pests, or those things on the ground that give you the willys. If you are getting eating alive while you are enjoying the great outdoors in the northwest, these are the 3 bugs that are most likely responsible.
Mosquitoes - If you were going to identify the most famous but also the most annoying pest on this list, it would be the mosquitoes. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. I will say that we have small ones in the northwest compared to the poor souls in Alaska that are roughly the size of small humming birds. That does not make them any less annoying however. I will never forget the time I had to sleep in a "non sealed" tent and woke up covered head to toe in mosquito bites. On the Washington State Department of Health website they say mosquitoes are "not only a nuisance, mosquitoes can pose a serious health threat to people. Disease can be spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Over 40 different mosquito species can be found in Washington, and many are vectors for diseases, such as West Nile virus, western equine encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis."
To protect yourself, use mosquito repellent, stay indoors or away from places mosquitoes are known to be, wear long sleeve shirts and pants, and make sure screens on windows are intact. Also look for places on your property were there is standing water and remove it if possible. That is where mosquitoes breed.
Biting Flies - If you have ever visited or worked on a farm or ranch, you have probably been bitten by these freaky pests. Horse flies or biting flies can be painful. They will continuously fly around you until finding a soft spot on your skin and then bite down. They are very active during daylight hours and can be found around farm animals, streams, lakes, ponds, and marshes according to the WSDOH website.
They also give great tips to avoid getting bitten by these pests.
- "Avoid places where flies are most active, particularly from dawn to dusk.
- Cover exposed skin by wearing light-colored, long sleeved shirts, pants and hats.
- Consider using a repellent labeled for biting fly protection. Always follow label instructions carefully.
- Fix window and door screens.
- Clean up piles of rubbish and decaying hay, straw, and other vegetation that attract flies."
If you are bitten by these flies, wash the bite with soap and water, then apply antihistamine, and watch closely for any signs of infection. If the bites bet infected, call your doctor.
Bed Bugs - If you have them, these bugs might be eating you and you don't even know it. Sit down if you don't know this, but they eat your BLOOD while your sleeping! The description on WADOH is as follows:
"Bed bugs are small, flat insects that feed on our blood, typically at night, while we are sleeping. Adult bed bugs are about 1/4 of an inch long, have flat, rusty-red-colored oval bodies, and look like an apple seed. They feed for about 3-10 minutes and their bodies swell and become bright red. During the bed bug life cycle, a female can lay 200-400 eggs depending on food supply and temperature. Bed bugs don't fly, but can quickly walk across floors, walls, and other surfaces."
You can get bed bugs from infected luggage, blankets, clothes, or furniture. Regular cleaning and inspection of new furniture or bed box frames can help prevent infection. You can spot them by looking in the seams of the bed for blood spots or insects. You might also see bites develop on your body where they get ya. For more details about bed bugs and instructions on how to get rid of an infection, click here.
Good luck and sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!
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